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Public Health

Insufficient sleep is a significant indicator of general health in adolescents and is recognised as a growing public health problem globally, a field that is often underestimated and insufficiently studied. It is worrisome that over the last 100 years, the average sleep duration of adolescents has decreased by an average of 70 minutes.

In her doctoral thesis, Solvita Kļaviņa-Makrecka uses data from the international survey Health Behaviour in School-Age Children to investigate the association between insufficient sleep duration and self-rated health and well-being in adolescents in Latvia. The author concluded that almost a fifth of adolescents have insufficient sleep duration on school days and around 4% on weekends.

The results indicate a significant correlation between subjective health and well-being factors and adolescents' sleep duration. Among these factors, the study highlights a stronger correlation between insufficient sleep duration and the following: incomplete family structure (especially among 15-year-old boys), dissatisfaction with the school environment and high academic pressure (especially among 11-year-olds), and more than 4.5 hours of screen time (especially among 11- and 13-year-olds).The study also found differences in impact that some of the factors had on sleep duration on school days and on weekends. For example, teasing, experiencing of poor health, nervousness, as well as not being involved in any kind of extra-curricular activities and insufficient level of physical activities increased the likelihood of insufficient sleep on school days only. At the same time, living in the same room with another family member reduced the likelihood of insufficient sleep on school days.

Solvita Kļaviņa-Makrecka will defend her doctoral thesis Sleep Duration in Association with Subjective Health and Well-Being will take place on 2 June 2023.

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